Sometimes You Need a Crazy Idea

On the occasion of SAP’s 40th birthday, several employees met SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner. The participants in four different locations engaged in a fascinating discussion via TelePresence about the lessons drawn during SAP’s history and how the company plans to master the next 40 years.

Get to know the people who will use the software later

It’s hard to believe. In 1976, SAP was still aiming to reach just 100 customers. Only a few years later, the number could be increased to 100,000. According to Hasso Plattner, this was possible because SAP was at the right place at the right time with the right friends and the right idea.

Nevertheless, a developer has to be curious, says Plattner. It’s important to go out and meet the people who will later be using the software. And to collaboratively optimize the program according to the needs of the customer. Also decisive: From the beginning, SAP had zero tolerance for errors.

Because only when everything works perfectly and also quickly, will users want to use the software. SAP is banking on new ideas – and maybe some crazy ones – to reach this goal. It’s not enough to simply keep improving software. The user has to have fun – that’s the key to success.

Read the complete interview on SAP Milestones